Round 1 notebook: Greater Hickory Classic

September 18, 2009
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

• Here is the first-round leaderboard:

1. Jay Haas (62/-10) 2. Gil Morgan (65/-7) 3. Tom Jenkins (66/-6) T4. 10 players tied at 5-under-par 67

• So much for his one-month layoff. Jay Haas, the 2005 champion, returned to action for the first time since the JELD-WEN Tradition and opened with a 10-under-par 62, his career low round on the Champions Tour. It was also just one stroke shy of his best round on the PGA TOUR, a 61 at the 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (2nd round). Haas had missed the previous two events due to tendinitis in his left elbow.

• Haas had the fewest putts in Round 1 (24) and also posted 10 birdies and no bogeys in his round.

• Haas' 62 was one stroke shy of the tournament 18-hole scoring mark set in 2008 by R.W. Eaks in the opening round.

• Friday's opening round at this event continues to be snake-bitten with weather delays. The first-round was delayed for 2 hours and 35 minutes due to rain and it marked the fifth time in seven years there has been a delay in this round. In 2003 and 2004 the start was delayed due to fog, while rain was the culprit in 2005 and 2007. Ironically, the delay in 2007 was also 2 hours and 35 minutes.

• Just a week shy of his 63rd birthday, Gil Morgan continues to perform at a high level. Morgan shot a 7-under-par 65 on Friday matching his low round this year (65 at Allianz Championship/2nd round). Morgan is currently 25th on the 2009 money list.

• Morgan was not the only player over the age of 60 to shine on Friday. Sixty-one-year-old Tom Jenkins shot a 6-under-par 66 and is currently T3 along with Nick Price and Jerry Pate. Jenkins is also currently in the top 30 on the money list at No. 23.

Bernhard Langer, the Champions Tour's leading money winner, is not competing this week. Langer is instead playing in Prague this week on the European Senior Tour where he is defending his title in the Casa Serena Open. He is currently T5 after an opening-round 67.

• Defending champion Eaks opened with a 3-under-par 69 and is currently T24.

• Also returning to action on Friday after three-month layoff was D.A. Weibring. He has been sidelined with a back problem as well as tending to a family issue. He shot a 2-under-par 70 and is T32.

• PGA TOUR veteran David Frost made his Champions Tour debut on Friday and opened with a 4-under-par 68 and is T15. A 10-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Frost has been competing in Europe the last couple of years and turned 50 on September 11.

• With near-perfect scoring conditions, the field averaged 70.295 on Friday, the lowest opening-round average in tournament history. The previous low was 70.795 last year. On Friday, 31 players finished with rounds in the 60s and 55 were under par. The 31 rounds in the 60s was a first-round best at this event, while the 55 sub-par rounds matched the total in 2006.

• The most difficult hole on Friday was No. 6 with an average score of 4.333 (+.333 over par). Only five players managed to birdie the 451-yard hole. The easiest hole was No. 7. It yielded 37 birdies.

Bob Gilder made his 141st consecutive appearance in events he's been eligible for on the Champions Tour. Gilder shot a 70. The last event he missed for which he was eligible was this tournament in 2004.

• Haas, Jeff Sluman, Bobby Wadkins, Dan Forsman, Mark Wiebe, Chris Starkjohann and Tim Simpson all posted bogey-free rounds.